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Emergency lights going in at DBAP after storm darkens exit

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The city soon will install emergency lights in the concourse area of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park after a power outage Friday forced thousands had to exit the stadium in near total darkness.

Friday evening's concert by Kevin Costner-fronted rock band Modern West was cut short by a violent thunderstorm that shut down most of the lights in the 10,000-capacity stadium. Emergency lights in the restrooms, underground tunnels and the seating bowl went on, but there are no such lights in the concourse, said Durham Bulls Vice President George Habel.

"We've been here 13 years, and we've never had a major power failure like this after sunset," he said today.

"But our mindset today is we wouldn't want it to ever happen again. Once
was enough. And it's a blessing that nothing bad happened." 

One person did slip and fall in the seating bowl, but no other injuries were reported as 6,500 people made their way cautiously out of the stadium amid pouring rain, Habel said.

The city is responsible for maintaining the ballpark. City officials could not be reached for comment Monday, but Habel said they responded quickly to the matter.

Until the permanent emergency lighting can be installed, Habel has rented generators to light the concourse in the event of another outage. 

The fireworks show was rained out Friday as well. It will take place after tonight's 7:05 game.


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Durham County Board of Commissioners Hear from Durham Nonprofits

After the public testimony a couple of weeks ago to the Durham County Board of Commissioners by non-profits that are seeking financial support from the County, the Board of Commissioners wondered aloud about potential duplication of services and the lack of concrete results. These are questions and concerns that speak to diligent oversight of the County’s resources and our Commissioners should be commended for such.
Durham’s Partnership for Children is, in fact, the collaborative, organizing, early childhood presence in Durham County. The Partnership operates off of the fundamental principles of collaborative venture, unduplicated effort, and highly monitored and evaluated work. If it is the Board’s desire to create a non-profit sector that is efficient, that maximizes combined resources, and that is not duplicative in its service delivery, it is important to understand that the model already exists at the Partnership.
As the main Durham County early childhood funder (Smart Start & More at Four) the Partnership supports different agencies providing 23 different programs. It is the Partnership’s mandate to strategically assess need, accurately identify competent providers, rigorously evaluate results, and always insist upon collaborative approaches.
Outlined in the Partnership’s request to the county are program approaches and tactics that philosophically match the Board’s consolidation message. Through the Partnership’s Collaborative Fund Development function over $2.5 million dollars in grant application have been filed. Results? Over $350,000 new dollars for Durham County’s early childhood efforts. It should be noted that the great majority of these funds are redirected by Durham’s Partnership for Children into programs delivered by collaborative partners.
In a similar fashion, the Partnership’s Public Awareness efforts are, in effect, the Durham County voice for young children and their families. Through editorials in local newspapers, informative fact and data sheets, communiqués alerting the public to early childhood efforts, the mobilization of the business, faith, and medical communities, this program has enlightened and mobilized the Durham community.
Durham’s Partnership for Children supports the Durham Board of County Commissioners in their quest to streamline service delivery in our community. It would appear, however, that the road to affecting this effort is not through wholesale, random, and arbitrary reductions in non-profit support, but, rather, through enhanced concentrated support for those systems that espouse collaboration, effectively diminish duplication, and embody highly refined results-based methods of evaluation.

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